Promoting Fundamental British Values.
In accordance with The Department for Education we aim to actively promote British values in schools to ensure young people leave school prepared for life in modern Britain. Pupils are encouraged to regard people of all faiths, races and cultures with respect and tolerance and understand that while different people may hold different views about what is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, all people living in England are subject to its law.
The Key Values are:
Culture and Beliefs – Plan
In England, schools are also expected to promote ‘Fundamental British Values’ as part of their provision for SMSC. These values include “democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and mutual respect for and tolerance of those with different faiths and beliefs and those without faith” (Ofsted 2017:40).
The official guidance on Fundamental British Values (Department for Education 2014b) states that pupils should develop “an understanding that the freedom to choose and hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law” (p.6), as well as “an acceptance that other people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and tolerated, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour” (p.6).
We celebrate different festivals and cultures in Nursery, ranging from our Christian festivals such as Christmas and Easter, Saints day such as St. George, Chinese New Year, the Hindu and Sikh festival of Diwali and the Jewish Festival of Hanukkah. We also adjust our plan to recognise the faiths and cultures of children and families within the school and community.
Religion / Faith
Hindu & Sikh Faith - Diwali
Christianity – Christmas
Jewish - Hanukkah
Chinese New Year
Christianity – Easter
Hindu - Holi
St George Day
Islam, Muslim - Ramadan
Islam, Muslim - Eid ul-Fitr
Hindu - Rasha Bandan
There are many benefits of exploring the world’s festivals and celebrations with young children…
The beliefs and values of the world’s religions and cultures are expressed in many ways, including through festivals and celebrations. Whether they relate to rites of passage, the seasons, living things or revered objects, they play a highly significant role in the lives of many children worldwide, as part of their developing life in the family, community and wider society, nurturing their sense of identity, values and beliefs.
The EYFS values the role that festivals and celebrations play in supporting children’s learning and development in every area of learning, and through them parents and practitioners can support children in beginning to understand the commonalities of human values that are shared by all cultures and religions. The EYFS encourages families and providers to help children understand one another’s cultures and beliefs in a world that’s diverse and vibrant.
Another valuable lesson in this context is that of voluntary service and charitable giving – people thinking about others outside of their family circle who might need practical or financial help. This could include visiting elderly people and also giving them harvest foods, giving poor people Zakat-ul-Fitr (money) at Eid-ul-Fitr, and helping Children in Need.
Many festivals are perfectly attuned to children’s sense of wonder at the natural world, and their need to sometimes be tranquil. Many stories told at festival time emphasise a reverence for nature, for example, the story of the early life of the Buddha at Wesak. Such stories are ideal for giving children opportunities to be “curious, enthusiastic, engaged and tranquil, so developing a sense of inner-self and peace” (EYFS, Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Sense of Community).
An imaginative approach to helping children experience festivals and celebrations can support their learning in many areas. By explaining to others how they celebrate a festival or take part in a celebration, a child’s self-confidence and self-esteem is developed, and children’s awareness of, and respect for, others’ beliefs is nurtured. Listening to stories at festival time can help children develop a sense of right and wrong, as they re-tell and re-enact the stories. A sense of the passing of time in relation to festival seasons can be developed, and children can use all of their senses when finding out about, and making their own different festival foods, fabrics and artefacts. They can also express their ideas and feelings about festivals and celebrations in a variety of creative ways, including music, dance and role-play. By offering children the opportunity of sharing the joy of others’ festivals and celebrations we can give them a gateway into a world of mutual understanding and shared human values.
Ofsted inspectors consider a number of issues that are relevant to diversity of religion and belief (see Ofsted 2017), including the following:
• Pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development, and within this, the promotion of fundamental British values.
• The role of leaders in promoting equality of opportunity and diversity for both pupils and staff, and the prevention of direct and indirect discrimination and prejudiced behaviour.
• The role of teaching and resources in reflecting and valuing the diversity of pupils’ experiences and their understanding of difference, and the challenging of stereotypes and derogatory language in lessons and around the school.
• The role of pupils in the prevention of all forms of bullying, including online and prejudice-based bullying.
British values and the Prevent duty
From 1 July 2015 the Prevent duty became law. This is a duty on all schools and registered early years providers to have due regard to preventing people being drawn into terrorism. In order to protect children in your care, you must be alert to any reason for concern in the child’s life at home or elsewhere. This includes awareness of the expression of extremist views.
British values are a set of four values introduced to help keep children safe and promote their welfare – as is the duty of all providers following the EYFS; specifically to counter extremism.
In addition to this, The Counter Terrorism and Security Act also places a duty on early years providers “to have due regard to the need to prevent people from being drawn into terrorism” (The Prevent duty), effective from 1 July 2015.
The Department for Education has also produced some departmental advice on meeting the new duty.
Common Inspection Framework, British Values
What is the Prevent duty?
From 1 July 2015, all schools and childcare providers must have due regard to the need to prevent people being drawn into terrorism.
The government has defined extremism in the Prevent strategy as: “vocal or active opposition to fundamental British Values, including democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty and mutual respect and tolerance of different faiths and beliefs."
Childcare and Early Years Providers subject to the Prevent duty will be expected to demonstrate activity in the following areas:
What does this mean in practice?
As a childcare and early years provider we have a critical part to play. Early years providers serve arguably the most vulnerable and impressionable members of society.
In England, the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) accordingly places clear duties on providers to keep children safe and promote their welfare.
It makes clear that to protect children in their care, providers must be alert to any safeguarding and child protection issues in the child’s life at home or elsewhere (paragraph 3.4 EYFS).
It's important to remember that the Ofsted Common Inspection Framework that was implemented September 2015 includes reference to “providers promoting children’s welfare and preventing radicalisation and extremism”.
Inspecting safeguarding in early years, education and skills settings - Guidance for inspectors undertaking inspection under the common inspection framework also makes reference to the Prevent duty and keeping children safe from dangers of radicalisation and extremism.